Monday, August 18, 2008

Are you a Bucket Filler?

I just sat in on a "bucket filling conference". My boss brought in a speaker to address us on the concept of "filling people's buckets", (be encouraging, let someone know you care, greet a stranger with a smile), as a way to kick off the new school year. By the end of the session I was in tears. Have you ever had tears that were just because the things you were hearing were just such a blessing? That's what this speaker was like.
We all have invisible buckets that need filling. She told story after story of how we should be bucket fillers, meaning, take the time to every day to really let someone know they are special. (this was especially geared toward our new teachers to incorporate into their classrooms to fill the needs of their students, but all of us secretaries were asked to go). If you are a negative, critical person, -that is called "bucket dipping" and basically we can gather that you dip from other people's buckets because your bucket is so empty. Your bucket needs filled up. If you are around a person with a bucket dipping attitude, put a lid on your bucket and protect it. Do your best to fill the bucket of the person taking from you. She shared lots of stories with us.

For example, she travels a lot and because of this she has to eat out quite a bit. She makes it a point to find one person in the restaurant who looks like they could use a little encouragement and she tells her waitress that she would like to pick up their tab. But she wants to remain anonymous and then just a leave note with the person to have a great day. One student in her class she taught decided that everyday he was going to help his elderly neighbor because he was single and couldn't walk very well. So the little boy (who was a 3rd grader) went and got his mail and his newspaper and brought it in to him. He did this for a whole year. One night the neighbor came over and knocked on the door. The whole family was in the living room and the gentleman excused himself for interrupting, walked right over to Zachary and shook his hand (in front of his mom, dad, grandma grandpa) and said "Zachary, thank you so much for all you have done. You are an outstanding young man" and handed his mom an envelope with $1,000 in it with a a little note that said "for Zachary's college fund".

Another story she shared is of a mom who had a son in 2nd grade. He made a list of all the reasons he loved his mom and he read it out loud to her at dinner. She cried and cried. She was pregnant and feeling awful about herself. 2 weeks later, her husband did the same thing for her and read it to her at bedtime. He had never done anything like that for her before.

One more story and then I’m finished. This one happened to the speaker personally. She was in the airport, (a stressful place these days!) and her flight was just told they’d be running late. An angry man walked up to the stewardess (Andrea) at her counter and started pounding on the podium demanding this and that and making a huge scene of how upset he was. The stewardess did her best to calm him down but he wouldn’t. After his rampage he walked away. Our speaker said she walked right up to the young stewardess and told her what a great job she had done, trying to calm that man down and such and then went back and sat down to read her book. Once it was time to finally board the plane, another stewardess had taken over and called her name over the intercom. She and her father (whom she was traveling with) came up to the desk. She asked them if they would like to travel first class. Andrea had left a note to seat them there when it was time to board…
Don’t those stories touch your heart? Are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper? It’s the smallest things you can do each day to make a difference to someone and fill their bucket. And in the process, you fill your own.


jenn said...

oh my goodness...what an incredibly uplifting post!!! i loved reading all the stories and learning how we each can make a life better!!! you are a bucket filler and i thank you for this encouraging message!!! love ya girl!..m.e.

Holly said...

Tears here too! Thanks for sharing!! A good reminder to always be a bucket filler!
Thanks again Joy and have a tremendous day!

♥Kelsey Kakes♥ said...

wow...that is such a touching story! i understand why you were in tears! i'd like to hear more sometime (if there is more)...maybe at the family reunion this weekend? it's so amazing how you can touch people with just the small things that you do, ya know? those stories really do encourage me! i'll definetly try my best to be a bucket filler:)